Ballot on strike action at Newsquest’s Stourbridge papers

The whiff of unrest is growing.

With Johnston Press journalists set to vote again on industrial action, spurred on by a National Union of Journalists spitting feathers after JP ran to the courts, the threat of strikes has now reared its head within Newsquest.

Ten journalists in Stourbridge are set to ballot over plans to transfer three staff to Worcester, 30 miles away. The NUJ made the announcement on Friday.

Staff believe the decision will lower the quality of those titles produced at the Stourbridge centre; namely the Stourbridge News, Halesowen News, Dudley News, Kidderminster Shuttle, Bromsgrove Advertiser and Redditch Advertiser.

NUJ organiser Chris Morley said: “The loss of experienced senior journalists from this centre would also weaken the support available to more junior staff.

“Cuts have left huge workloads on journalists and the proposals as they stand will make this worse. A reasonable, alternative strategy has been put forward by the union that would avoid the worst effects of the company’s proposals but I am not convinced that management will listen to logical arguments alone.

“Newsquest plans put both journalists and journalism at risk at Stourbridge, and our members have drawn a line in the sand to say it is not acceptable.”

State of Play: Heart attack

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